Simple Steps to Gain a Part-Time Job in the UK

Published On: 04 Jul 2012

 | Last Updated On: 29 May 2014

Working while you are studying can be one of the best ways to make your education abroad bit less expensive and without even the money factor, working can be valuable experience. If you are looking to work part time while you are studying in UK, you need to make sure that you are eligible to work in the regulated or stipulated time period.

With education costs rising, most universities acknowledge the fact that many students need to undertake some paid work during their studies, but recommend a limit of 10 to 15 hours a week during term time. However, not every institution permits its students to work, so it is advisable to check with your university before seeking a part-time.

While students from the European Economic Areas (EEA) don’t have any restrictions, Indian students need to check whether they are also allowed to work during studies. This is subject to some regulation and employers are likely to check your status before employing you.

Work regulations:

You have to check what your passport sticker (entry clearance or residence permit) or biometric residence permit (identity card) says. You can work in the UK if your passport sticker or identity card says one of the following:

· Work (and any changes) must be authorized

· Able to work as authorised by the Secretary of State

· Work as in Tier 4 Rules

· Restricted Work. P/T term time. F/T vacations

· Restricted work term time

· Work limited to max 20 hrs per week during term-time

· Work limited to max 10 hrs per week during term-time.

Your passport sticker or identity card might say something a bit different from these examples, but you cannot work if it says `No Work’  or `Work prohibited’.  It would be a breach of your immigration conditions and a criminal offence if you work despite these mentions. The Home Office can check whether someone has been working by making unannounced visits to employers and by obtaining information from the tax department, HMRC.

Benefits of part time work:

A part-time or casual work has its own benefits. Firstly it will help you fund your expenses. Secondly it will boost your transferable skills such as those relating to teamwork, organization skills and time management. In addition, you will get a taste of working life. Gaining work experience will help you in your search for employment in the UK, India or anywhere else. 

What kind of work you can do?

Many part-time roles are available locally and are seasonal. Employers recruit casual employees to cover busy periods such as Christmas in retail and summer in hospitality. You can do most kinds of work, but you must not:

· Be self-employed

· Be employed as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach

· Be employed as an entertainer

· Take a permanent full-time job

· Work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.

If, however, you are studying music or dance at degree-level, you are allowed to undertake a work placement that involves professional performance.  Also you might need to decide whether your sports activities are professional or amateur. The Immigration Rules define an 'amateur' as "a person who engages in a sport or creative activity solely for personal enjoyment and who is not seeking to derive a living from the activity". If you meet this definition, your sports activities are not 'professional' and so you can pursue them with Tier 4 immigration permission.  

You might want to be a volunteer. There is a difference between unpaid employment (voluntary work) and volunteering, and you should always check with the organisation which offers you a volunteering opportunity whether it can be regarded as unpaid employment. This is because time you spend doing unpaid employment counts towards your maximum number of hours of work a week.

How many hours can you work?

Generally, during term time you can work for:

· Up to 20 hours a week if you are studying at degree level or above at a higher education institution.

· Up to 20 hours a week if you are on a study abroad programme at an "overseas higher education institution" in the UK.

· Up to 10 hours a week if you are studying a course that is below degree level at a "higher education institution"

· Up to 10 hours a week if you are studying a course at any level at publicly-funded further education college.

· Up to 10 hours a week if you have immigration permission as a Tier 4 (Child) Student.

Some pointers to get a part-time work in UK:

Student Shop or Job Shops: Your first stop when searching for a part-time work should be the university Student Shop or Job Shop, a place that may tell you about the various options to work on campus, perhaps in the university library or to even secure work as a teaching assistant.

University portals and job boards: You can check the university portal or the students community board to know more about part time jobs on offer. Alternatively, you can check job sites  as many of the sites focus on part-time and hourly jobs. In many cases, you will be able to apply online.

Check the local ads: Many small employers advertise in the papers, rather than listing online. Students looking for a part-time should look for opportunity on the local ad magazines or news papers. 

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